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HOTM: LeafTracker

The Art of Leaf

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let's howl
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let's howl
let's howl
let's howl
let's howl
let's howl
let's howl


Notice: all artwork shown here is copyright(c) Suzanne Placek or their respective owners - no unauthorized use is permitted. Please contact the author for permissions or inquiries. Visit her blog at http://leaftracker.blogspot.com/



Hello and greetings of the season

Last year I bought PD Artist, because it seemed to offer an increased ability for me to make digital fine art that looks similar to what I have historically done with paper and water media than I could get with Paint which is the only other thing I have tried. 



Recent additions:

Summer Place, by leaftracker
Summer Place

leaftracker - old stackhouse farm

Old Stackhouse Farm



First Signs of Spring


Welsh Farmhouse Evening



Possom Creek



tree 1
tree 1

It has taken me a bit of time to figure out how to get the images I want. I am not into animation or 3D graphics. I just wanted to be able to make my art on the computer.  I don't use any of the hi tech, specialized tools. 

My early pieces were done in PD Artist. Here's my first finished piece done recently (December 2011) with PD Pro Howler (v7):

Winter Sunrise On The Back Trail
Winter Sunrise On The Back Trail


I use only the built in brushes, no particles, no optipustics, not much into alternate buffers, alpha channels and layers...  pretty much just direct application.  Have spent a bit of time learning how to get the colors I want. Would love to have a tool that simulates pouring watercolor :)


Cup of Daisies
Cup of Daisies


 
 
About me and my experience with digital art

My name is Suzanne Placek, I live in Texas. I'm a baby boomer in my early 60s.


I am on disability, otherwise I would still be coding and painting on paper with water and pigment.

I came across Dogwaffle via internet search looking for suitable software. My first version was the freeware edition, and (as of December 2011) I have been waffling for a bit over a year now.


country-road-xmas11-512.jpg
Country Road Christmas


 
I am an artist although I never made my primary living at it.  I got a double major in Organic Chemistry and Fine Art from Bucknell University back in the dark ages of the 70’s. I have worked in oil, watercolor, batik, lithography, pastel, acrylic, collage, pencil, charcoal, and india ink.

My real love turned out to be watercolor and I have pretty much concentrated on that for the past 30 years. I have entered juried exibitions, won a few awards, and sold my work.

I am fortunate to have been able to gain valuable insight, critiques and encouragment from Zoltan Szabo,  Frank Webb, Gerald Bohmer, Dominic DeStefano. 

The reason that I looked into computer painting is that I am disabled and it is very difficult for me work with natural media now, so I have been looking for a way to produce images on the computer that are similar to those that I was able to do with water media on paper.  Can do it anywhere I can take my laptop and no cleanup! 

 

MtnCottage1-512.jpg
Mountain Cottage


When I was working full time, I designed and wrote Sales Force Automation software for a large international chemical company.   Now I only have one custom app, a stock/option trading reporting and analysis application for a private client, that I am actively supporting.

I use the below hardware set ups both with Windows 7 64bit
 
  • a 2 yr old HP Presario CQ61 Notebook, AMD Athlon II Dual-Core M320 processor, 3 gig memory, AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200
  • a 3 yr old ASUS (built by me), Intel Quad Core i7 920 processor with HT, (i.e. 8 logical cores for Dogwaffle), 6 gig memory, ATI Radeon HD 4859x2


What do I like most about Dogwaffle?

PD Artist has tool sets that let me make “marks” on the screen that were similar to those I know how to make with brushes and watercolor on wet and dry paper.  I have yet to discover all that I need to know about how the software works to let me do everything I want.  And I need to become more facile with it.  I am still discovering things every day that I use it.


Hydrangeas
Hydrangeas


What needs improvement?


For the most part, I would have to say that would be me!  but i will also say that the gradient fill tool seems spotty on this version (PD Artist 1).  only seems to do black and white, but then again, it could be me.


   All the images I show here were done completely in PD Artist, and each of them was a learning experience.   I would say that on average, it took me about 6 – 10 hours to complete a piece.  I think that the biggest adjustment for me was having to  draw/paint on one surface with a mouse or tablet pen and watch what is happening on the surface of the monitor.   I had to learn all over again how to make lost and found edges,  wet on wet effects, drybrush marks,  subtle lines and the like.   There is no way to learn how to do this except by doing, trying new things.



aspenline2
aspen line 2


I have also learned that the appearance of an image is very dependent on the hardware one uses.   The Aspen Line is a high key study in subtle color changes and fine line work.  On one machine it looks super, on another all the subtle is lost and there are major color shifts that are disturbing to me.   I don’t know what to do about this


Do I have a website with more samples of my artwork?

Yes, I now have a blog here:



Thank you very much for visiting!






Notice: all artwork shown here is copyright(c) Suzanne Placek or their respective owners - no unauthorized use is permitted. Please contact the author for permissions or inquiries. Visit her blog at http://leaftracker.blogspot.com/
New!

Daisies at Dawn

a short tutorial



Winter
                    Sunrise On The Back Trail


country road Christmas

tree 1

Mountain Cottage

Hydrangeas

cup of daisies

aspen line 2